Safe And Sound

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Lock out harm­ful rays and keep your skin healthy with our pick of the best sun pro­tec­tion. By Vic­to­ria Hall. WHAT TYPE OF SPF IS BEST? There are two types of sun pro­tec­tion: the phys­i­cal kind, which blocks and re­flects UV rays, and a chem­i­cal vari­a­tion that ab­sorbs them be­fore they can harm your skin. While each kind has its mer­its, it’s best to opt for a cream that uses a blend of both—which most now do—to en­sure it of­fers strong, broad-spec­trum pro­tec­tion. If you have very sen­si­tive skin, choose phys­i­cal sun­screens, as chem­i­cal for­mu­la­tions can ir­ri­tate. Try Lancôme UV Ex­pert YouthShield Aqua Gel SPF50 PA++++ (RM195) and Three Bal­anc­ing UV Pro­tec­tor R SPF40/PA+++ (RM166) for mi­cro­nised for­mu­las that are ab­sorbed quickly with­out leav­ing a vis­i­ble trace. WHAT FAC­TOR MAT­TERS? An SPF 50 will give you 98 per­cent pro­tec­tion, while SPF 30 of­fers 97 per­cent. The length of pro­tec­tion of­fered by dif­fer­ent fac­tors de­pends on how quickly your own skin burns. For ex­am­ple, if you burn within three min­utes with­out any sun cream, an SPF 30 should pro­tect you for 90 min­utes and an SPF 50 for 150 min­utes. On hol­i­day, you should opt for a min­i­mum of SPF 30 and seek shade reg­u­larly. “Start with SPF 50 for the first cou­ple of days and then lower it to SPF 30 once your skin’s tol­er­ance has built up,” ad­vises the plastic sur­geon and skin can­cer spe­cial­ist Marko Lens. Lay­er­ing fac­tors won’t give you ex­tra pro­tec­tion: If your mois­turiser con­tains an SPF 15 and you put an SPF 30 sun­screen on top, your level of pro­tec­tion will still amount to SPF 30, not SPF 45. HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU AP­PLY? Few of us ap­ply sun­screen cor­rectly, which can have lethal con­se­quences. “Sun­screen should be ap­plied 30 min­utes be­fore go­ing out­doors and reap­plied every two hours to main­tain the SPF value stated on the bot­tle,” says the der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr. An­jali Mahto. The LA-based der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr. Harold Lancer rec­om­mends us­ing one to two ounces for your en­tire body, which means at least a tea­spoon-sized amount for your face and neck. DO YOU NEED TO WEAR SPF EV­ERY­DAY? “You should wear a min­i­mum of SPF 15 ev­ery­day wher­ever you are,” says Dr. Mahto. Many face creams con­tain an SPF 15 or above. This will pro­tect your skin on the way to the of­fice in the morn­ing, but the ma­jor­ity of the for­mula will have evap­o­rated or rubbed off by lunchtime, so if you’re plan­ning to sit out in the park, make sure to reap­ply your sun­screen, or dust Belif Almighty Sun Pow­der SPF50+ PA+++ (RM129), over your make-up. IS WA­TER-RE­SIS­TANT SUN PRO­TEC­TION NEC­ES­SARY? “A for­mula is deemed wa­ter-re­sis­tant if at least 80 per­cent of it can with­stand two 20-minute sub­mer­sion in wa­ter,” ex­plains Dr. Walayat Hus­sain, a spokesper­son for the Bri­tish As­so­ci­a­tion of Der­ma­tol­o­gists. How­ever, the test­ing doesn’t take into ac­count towel-dry­ing or sweat­ing, mean­ing that reap­pli­ca­tion af­ter swim­ming is es­sen­tial. Con­se­quently, as there’s vir­tu­ally no ben­e­fit to a wa­ter-re­sis­tant for­mula, it’s bet­ter to opt for easy-to-ap­ply sun creams, such as Clé de Peau Beauté UV Pro­tec­tive Cream SPF 50+ (RM375) and Sis­ley Paris Su­per Soin So­laire Milky Body Mist Sun Care SPF 30 (RM480). DOES WEAR­ING SUN­SCREEN AF­FECT THE BODY’S VI­TA­MIN D LEV­ELS? Vi­ta­min D is pro­duced by the body when bare skin is ex­posed to sun­light. It’s es­sen­tial for healthy bones and is thought to pre­vent dis­eases in­clud­ing some can­cers and arthri­tis. “Short ex­po­sure to the sun, such as a 15-minute walk, is a good bal­ance be­tween mak­ing vi­ta­min D and the risk of skin can­cer,” says Sarah Wil­liams, a health in­for­ma­tion man­ager at Can­cer Re­search UK. To avoid skin age­ing, ex­pose your arms and legs, but keep your face cov­ered with SPF or wear sun­glasses and a hat.

For the most ef­fec­tive sun pro­tec­tion, look to these key point­ers

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